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ANR: SEC Will Take a Look at That Groupon Restatement; Deloitte Overtime Suit Decertified as a Class; Pinterest for Accountants | 04.03.12

SEC Probes Groupon [WSJ]
The Securities and Exchange Commission is examining Groupon Inc.'s revision of its first set of financial results as a public company, according to a person familiar with the situation. The regulator's probe into the popular online-coupon company is at a preliminary stage and the SEC hasn't yet decided whether to launch a formal investigation into the matter, the person said. The SEC decision to examine the circumstances surrounding Groupon's surprise revision is the start-up's latest run-in with the regulator. Groupon twice revised its finances before its November IPO. 

Groupon Got So Used To Excluding Expenses In Calculating Earnings That It Went A Little Overboard [DB]
From the possibly loquacious but always insightful Matt Levine: "The Groupon fiasco was funny because Groupon reported a total vanity measure of profitability in its S-1 and everyone, right down to the SEC, had a good laugh about it and was all 'come on man,' and Groupon was all 'yeah, fair, you got us, we’ll take it out.' "

Deloitte Auditors Can't Seek Overtime as a Class [CNS]
A federal judge decided to decertify a class of auditors suing their former employers at Deloitte & Touche, finding the overtime claims too individual in nature. James Brady represents a class of unlicensed accountants seeking overtime from Deloitte. Companies in California must pay overtime to employees who work more than 40 hours a week, unless those workers meet exemptions for professionals, executives or administrators.

Transfer Pricing Brings Tax Troubles To Tech Giants [WSJ]
A growing number technology firms has disclosed disputes with the IRS related to transfer pricing, which refers to how much a domestic company and its foreign units charge each other for goods and services. Some of the potential liabilities are sizable. Inc. (AMZN), for example, has said the IRS has proposed a $1.5 billion tax increase related to transfer pricing over a seven-year period starting in 2005. AOL Inc. (AOL), Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE), Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), Juniper Networks Inc. (JNPR), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) in recent months have disclosed disputes or inquiries over related issues. Companies often use transfer pricing as a way to maximize their tax liabilities in countries with relatively low corporate tax rates, minimizing the recognition of profits in countries like the U.S. that have stiffer corporate taxes. But companies can get flagged by the IRS if, for example, prices charged to a foreign unit are deemed different than what would have been charged to an unaffiliated firm. It's not a new issue, but the IRS has stepped up its enforcement activity, tax experts say, often focusing on the pricing of intangible property such as patents in addition to manufactured goods or other tangible property.

Groupon Restatement Raises Reserving Questions [CFO]
[W]eaknesses identified in the 10-K included “a number of manual post-close adjustments” (that is, a lack of adequately automated financial reporting leading to a welter of difficult-to-consolidate spreadsheets), and a failure to maintain both “effective controls to provide reasonable assurance that accounts were complete and accurate” and measures to ensure that account reconciliations “were properly performed, reviewed and approved.”
What Accountants Need to Know about Pinterest [CPAT]
“If you’re an accountant that happens to be into craft beer, you can use Pinterest to pin images of the beers and you can add tasting notes to them.” [some expert/author] said. “If I happen to like craft beer and need an accountant, it’s a stretch, but it’s certainly possible.”
Deloitte and CRG Partners Execute Asset Purchase Agreement [Deloitte]
CRG's claim to fame seems to be getting the Texas Rangers through bankruptcy.
Trintech Announces Alliance with KPMG LLP [KPMG]
Sounds like more CFO services.
Chocolate allergies linked to cockroach parts [MSNBC]
[T]he average chocolate bar contains eight insect parts. Anything less than 60 insect pieces per 100 grams of chocolate (two chocolate bars' worth) is deemed safe for consumption by the Food and Drug Administration. Allergists say most foods contain natural contaminants. Aside from chocolate, cockroach parts also make their way into peanut butter, macaroni, fruit, cheese, popcorn and wheat. The roach bits can affect people with asthma, as well causing migraines, cramps, itching or hives in people who are allergic to them.
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